Heavy snowfall can test disaster recovery plans.

Harsh winter tests disaster recovery plans

Stephen Perkins

The United States is no stranger to Mother Nature's bad side. But while that should, in theory, mean that businesses all over the country are constantly prepared for the worst, they rarely seem to be.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. economy lost $1.15 trillion between 1980 and 2010 due to extreme meteorological conditions. Additionally, the federal institution predicted that "future impacts from climate change" will cause an additional $1.2 trillion through 2050, USA Today reported. While that is less than what has already been forfeited to inclement weather, it still represents a major chunk of the economy.

This winter, sub-zero temperatures and blasts of snow have caused many organizations to halt operations, either due to an office being unreachable or an outage affecting the servers. Should the integrity of essential systems be put into jeopardy by a storm, companies will not have much time to put their disaster recovery plans into action. It is imperative that when misfortune strikes – much like it has for much of the country over the last few months – IT is ready to handle it.

Getting out of harm's way
Businesses operate in all parts of the world, including regions that see a lot of snow. But one of the many advantages to modern technology is that files and information can be easily accessed over the Internet, in many instances even wirelessly.

SmartCompany contributor David Hancock said that in a world where there is "no shortage of disaster scenarios threatening to separate you from your workplace," it is important for organizations to ask themselves how they would survive if they are sitting in the "footpath" of the disruption. By seeking out offsite backup, businesses can ensure that their critical data and applications are duplicated and protected from being destroyed in the event of a catastrophe.

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